TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili has renounced his Russian citizenship. This comes while there is only one day left until a court ruling about his Georgian citizenship.
Ivanishvili held triple Georgian-Russian-French citizenship until recently, but is now only a French citizen. His Georgian citizenship was revoked by president Mikheil Saakashvili shortly after publishing an open letter in which he strongly criticized Saakashvili and declared his plans to claim power.
Formally, the Georgian citizenship was terminated because authorities were unaware that Ivanishvili was a French citizen. Georgian legislation as a rule does not allow double citizenship, though there are exception to the rule and some people hold double citizenship.
Not having a Georgian citizenship blocked Ivanishvili’s political ambitions, because it means that is not allowed to engage in any political activities in the country and is prohibited from financing political processes.
He went to court, seeking to get the presidential decree declared invalid. Tbilisi City Court will announce its decision Tuesday at 2 pm.
In anticipation of getting back the citizenship, Ivanishvili launched what is called a ‘public movement’, which does not require being Georgian citizen. His lawyers have also said that he has a backup plan in case the court does not rule in his favor.